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Comment: Why call this a "selfie"? (Score 3, Insightful) 165

by psymastr (#48210947) Attached to: U.K. Supermarkets Beta Test Full-Body 3D Scanners For Selfie Figurines
How the hell is this considered a "selfie"? It's just an automatic 3D scanner. Its function is similar to automatic photographing machines whose output nobody would call a selfie.

Ah, but you certainly sound "hip" and "cool" when discussing technology merely in the context of inane teenage habits.

Comment: Re:it is all going to go horribly wrong (Score 2) 494

by psymastr (#47934547) Attached to: Scotland's Independence Vote Could Shake Up Industry

It is for Scotland to decide! They can apply for membership any time, just like Turkey, for instance.

Sure. That doesn't mean they will be accepted. For a new member to be accepted there has to be a unanimous decision of the existing members and many of them have indicated clearly that they won't agree. Baroso has made it clear that it would be "very difficult" for an indpendent Scotland to be admitted to the EU.

Errr... Ever heard of the Czech and the Slovaks?

Czechoslovakia split in two (peacefully) and both halves joined the EU right away, and were welcome with open arms, if memory serves well.

Your memory does not serve well, since those countries split up in 1993 and were accepted into the EU in 2004.

The Euro is not the EU, and vice-versa. There is a ton of countries that are EU members, but still have their national currencies.

The Euro is not the EU but it is pretty close. There are two countries (UK and Denmark) that have been given the option to refrain from joining the Euro. Those exceptions were granted many years ago and no more such exceptions will be given. For all other EU countries joining the Euro is mandatory. The reason some of them have not joined is that their economies have not yet approached the indicators necessary to be accepted. They continue to be obliged to strive to attain those indicators.

You are not making any sense - again, the currency you use is totally independent from EU membership itself.

As I said, no it's not at all independent, it's closely related and you have no idea what you are talking about.

Comment: Programming (Score 1) 546

by psymastr (#47824457) Attached to: Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

I have been an employed programmer for about 8 years now, dropped out of school to get paid instead of paying. Every single person I have had to work with who had a CS degree have had two traits in common. First, they love to remind you they have the degree. Second, they barely contribute anything to production except great ideas of how not to do things.

As a non-degree'd person, I have done contract work for 3 separate universities so far. You would think they would have an infinite supply of proud cheap labour to tap before giving me a call.

You sound pretty bitter.

Also, has it dawned on you that people might be doing a degree because... they want to learn things, i.e. not necessarily to make money on their job? Is this notion so outlandish to you that you fail to even acknowledge it?

Also, in many (most?) countries you do not pay to go to university.

Comment: Re:Nothing new here (Score 1) 325

by psymastr (#46732411) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

The folks that are delusional are those that believe that the United States is less corrupt than any other society.

I have visited several other societies and I can tell you that the United States is absolutely less corrupt than any other society that I have visited. Of course, I have only witnessed a few: Several Central American Countries, France, South Korea, India, China.

I wouldn't say it is less corrupt; the impression you describe is mostly due to the fact that the US has legalized most forms of corruption under the guise of either "lobbying" or "private contributions to the political parties".

Comment: Re:Predictions were made in the 1970s then? (Score 1) 560

by psymastr (#46306965) Attached to: How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

So long as you don't use the test set as a training set, sure you are, just as much as you were the first time that you went back and put yourself in their shoes. Remember, I'm talking about machine learning algorithms, so the algorithm has no knowledge of the test set when you "go back".

Once you select the algorithm then yeah, it doesn't have any knowledge of the test set. However, *you* have knowledge and you use that knowledge to select the algorithm and/or tune its parameters.

Comment: Re:Stupid. (Score 2) 126

by psymastr (#46138683) Attached to: Can Wolfram Alpha Tell Which Team Will Win the Super Bowl?

No, bookmakers don't compute odds. They compute (and recompute) a number that will put 50% of the betting population on each side of the line. It has nothing to do with who is going to win.

That bookmakers try to split the betting money 50-50 might be true when the betting is against the spread. But not all betting is against the spread. It is also possible, for example, to bet on the "moneyline", i.e. on who is going to win the match. It is easy to see then that moneyline betting pays different odds for each team in match. In such cases the bookmaker, if he wants to guarantee a profit, has to split the money in a different way, for example if a team has 90% chance to win the match, he needs to take about 90% of the betting on that team. This is rarely possible though, because most betting happens on the favorites and when the favorites win the bookmakers mostly lose money.

You are also overlooking another component: That some bookmakers want to get the early action, and when they open the betting there is no line consensus to follow, so they have to set their own price. When this happens it means they *are* analyzing the matchup.

But even if we ignore all the aforementioned and only look at spread betting, where the 50-50 split is mostly possible, even then, it is not true to say that the betting odds have "nothing to do with who is going to win". They have *everything* to do with who is going to win. Peer-reviewed research has shown, time and time again (look at any of the papers here) , that betting markets are extremely efficient, i.e. betting odds reflect very closely the real probability of events. This happens *exactly* because the line is, to a large extent, shaped by public betting, which means that misconceptions on part of individual gamblers are cancelled out.

Comment: Re:Since i am a Greek... (Score 1) 324

by psymastr (#46012039) Attached to: In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

The guy said in an interview he gave in the Greek media that even the police officers and the prosecutors were really upset that they had to charge him... but "dura lex, sed lex" - don't worry, he is not going to jail or anything like that.

This is BS. There have been many similar cases in Greece and most of them have resulted in acquittals.

Comment: Re:Proof the religion is the true evil. (Score 1) 324

by psymastr (#46012027) Attached to: In Greece, 10 Months In Prison For "Blasphemous" Facebook Page

I am also Greek.

Your description of Greek religiousness is not correct. You are presenting it as if religion is universally treated as a vital part of national identity, which it is not. It is only treated thus by the right wing; the left wing (received about 32% in the last election) and most of the center (received about 15%) have always been clearly in favor of church-state separation.

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